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Holiday Let Safety Requirements

19th October 2020

What Safety Requirements are there and how do I make sure I am up to date?

Landlords, did you know that safety requirements for holiday lets are the same as for long-term lets? We give you an easy overview of what’s required to ensure your guests have a safe stay.

Gas safety requirements

If your property has a gas supply (which is very likely), there is risk of fire, explosion, gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning. Here’s the rules when it comes to gas.

  • Have your gas appliances regularly maintained and serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer .
  • You’re required, by law, to hold a valid Gas Safety Certificate, also known as a CP12.
  • A Gas Safety Certificate provides details of your latest inspection and covers all items checked during the inspection.
  • You don’t need to be at the property during the inspection, but your personal details will appear on the certificate.
  • The price of a gas inspection and certificate will depend on how many gas appliances you have in your property. But they usually start from around £75.
  • You need to renew your Gas Safety Certificate every 12 months. Keep a safe record of all your certificates.

Electrical safety requirements

Faulty electrical equipment and wires can cause serious injury, death or fire. Here’s the regulations for electrical safety in your holiday property.

  • You, as the landlord, have a duty to make sure all electrical installations in your holiday properties are safe. This responsibility covers light fixtures and plugs, as well as internal wiring.
  • New regulations require landlords to have electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a qualified electrical engineer every five years. These regulations came into force on 1 June 2020.
  • Landlords must provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their guests or local authorities if requested. So be sure to keep a copy safe and to hand.

Fire safety requirements

There is a risk of fire in any property; holiday lets are no exception. Here’s how to reduce fire risk and ensure the safety of your guests.

You are required to carry out a fire safety risk assessment. Although you can carry out this assessment yourself (using templates online), it’s best to get a qualified fire consultant to do this.

It’s recommended that your holiday let is reassessed every 12 months or whenever your property changes, such as an addition of new furniture, a log burner or extension.

A fire risk assessment is a comprehensive review of:

  • the risks of fire within your holiday home
  • your guests
  • the measures you need to put in place to keep your guests safe

Identify fire hazards in your holiday let

What installations or situations could cause a fire? The most common causes include cooking in kitchens, unsafe electrical appliances, candles (left unattended or knocked over) and open fires or log burners.

Keep your guests safe

You need to implement measures to reduce any fire risk, such as:

  • installing smoke alarms
  • installing carbon monoxide detectors
  • installing lighting to highlight emergency routes and exits
  • installing a fire blanket and fire extinguisher
  • installing internal self-closing fire doors
  • removing all candles
  • ensuring furniture is fire retardant

For maximum protection, a smoke alarm should be installed in every room, except bathrooms. The most reliable type of smoke alarms is those that are wired into your property’s electrical supply. The test button should be pressed frequently to ensure they are in working order.

Fire safety with log burners or open fires

Many holiday cottages have log burners or open fires, as they’re a desirable feature for guests looking to relax. If you have an open fire or log burner in your holiday let, consider:

  • having your chimney swept annually
  • installing a hearth around a fireplace
  • a fireguard

Inform your guests about fire risks

Display your completed Fire Risk Assessment in a prominent place for your guests to read.

Leave detailed instructions about where the fire blanket and fire extinguisher are, exits and emergency evacuation plans.

Oil safety requirements

Some holiday properties may have an oil supply instead of gas. Faults in oil appliances pose the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

By law, you must have any oil-fired appliances and equipment serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, which is usually every year.

There is no legal requirement for holiday let owners to have an Oil Safety Certificate. But, for the safety of your guests, it’s highly recommended that you have all your appliances and equipment inspected by an OFTEC Registered Technician. They will give you an OFTEC CD/12 Landlord Oil Installation Check form.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels, such as gas or oil, aren’t burnt fully. This may happen because a household appliance has been poorly maintained or installed incorrectly.

It’s a poisonous gas that has no smell or taste. Inhaling it can be fatal, so make sure you take the following basic steps for the safety of your guests.

  • Have all your appliances, such as your boiler, serviced regularly and publish relevant certificates as part of the property information.
  • You are legally required to install a carbon monoxide alarm in every room that has a fossil fuel-burning appliance, such as a boiler, oven or log burner. The alarm will sound if it identifies the presence of carbon monoxide.

Property management

If you decide to use a management company to manage your holiday property, they will have strict procedures in place to ensure guest’s safety. Always ask them for advice if you’re unsure.

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